View larger image Front view of center from Whittier Street

Construction of a new urban nature center on the Whittier Peninsula is coming along well, and plans for a late spring opening seem within reach. The Grange Insurance Audubon Center -- dedicated to education, recreation and conservation -- will be the crown jewel of revitalization efforts on the small sliver of land jutting from the Scioto River south of Downtown.

The reclamation process has been long and grueling; the rewards will be that much sweeter.

Hell, it'll just be nice to have somewhere to go to the bathroom when I'm birding. Soon, we'll have a great, green building that will sponsor classes, lead field trips and answer questions about the surprising biodiversity that lives in Scioto Audubon Metro Park.

Many Columbus residents have complained about two things with the Metro Parks network: no Downtown park and no adventure offerings. The county park managers have fixed one problem with a really great resource in the heart of our urban landscape.

The center is the first of its kind to be located so close to a major city, which could be a great resource when plans for the Scioto Mile park space get moving. Think how cool it will be walk from the proposed Downtown fountains to a picnic in the park.

I'll keep you posted on the grand opening.

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View larger image The rear view from Whittier Street

View larger image Wetland cells to the east of the building were put in last year

View larger image New docks and rain gardens, constructed last year, have really spruced up the main boat launch.